The next version of Microsoft's corporate email server software will not only offer the ability to view email by conversations, but also the option of 'muting' any thread that a user would rather not take part in.
Exchange 2010 is entering public beta on Wednesday, with a final launch slated for the second half of this year.
Among Exchange 2010's other features is MailTips, which offers warnings when users might be about to commit an email faux pas.
"MailTips is kind of like a guardian angel before you send the mail," Microsoft's Rajesh Jha said in an interview this week. For example, it will warn a user if they are about to send an email to a large distribution list or if they are going to send an attachment outside their company's firewall.
Microsoft is also building new archiving features into Exchange 2010, features that will allow companies to store a user's email archive, as well as make archived messages available to users when they are not at their desktop or laptop PC.
Many of Exchange 2010's features work in the Web-based Outlook Web Access program, but Office 2010 will be required to use them on the desktop. Office 2010 isn't due out until the first half of next year, Microsoft said.
Microsoft is already using Exchange 2010 to power its Live@edu service for schools and universities. Customers of Exchange Online, Microsoft's hosted service for businesses, will have the option of moving to the new Exchange after the server software is released, Jha said.